Movies

Some People Are Boycotting Late Night With The Devil Over AI Use. Here’s What The Directors Say

Since production was first announced back in 2022, people have been going wild for the upcoming horror movie Late Night with the Devil, with many marking it as a “must see” on their 2024 movie schedule. Inspired by late-night talk shows from the 1970s, it provides a fresh take on the found footage and exorcism subgenres. A few days ago, right before its official release in theaters across the U.S., fans on X (formerly known as Twitter) started posting about alleged proof of A.I. usage in the movie, and they were not happy about, some even stating that they will be boycotting the movie all together. Now the directors have released a statement to clarify the situation.

Besides Late Night, director duo Cameron and Colin Cairnes have a few other indie horror movies under their belts, which are full of gory, stomach-churning fun. When they spoke to Variety and provided a statement responding to fans’ uproar, they confirmed that they did use AI briefly in the upcoming movie. They also stated that they experimented with the images, and then their team added their own twists to them. The directors said:

In conjunction with our amazing graphics and production design team, all of whom worked tirelessly to give this film the 70s aesthetic we had always imagined, we experimented with AI for three still images which we edited further and ultimately appear as very brief interstitials in the film. We feel incredibly fortunate to have had such a talented and passionate cast, crew and producing team go above and beyond to help bring this film to life. We can’t wait for everyone to see it for themselves this weekend.

This all started after a scathing review of the movie was posted on Letterboxd. The user wrote that, “There’s AI all over this in the cutaways and ‘we’ll be right back’ network messages.” This post garnered over 4,000 likes and 200 comments in just a few days, so it’s no wonder that fans on X quickly caught wind of this. A few users even took it upon themselves to figure out if AI could be identified in stills taken from the movie ahead of the release date. As seen below, this user found that AI usage was 99.8% likely just from one image.

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As conversations on the platform continued and more people became aware of the situation, users didn’t mince words about their disappointment. Along with boycotting, some of them also wrote how they feel about the ethics behind AI, and questioned why an actual artist wasn’t utilized to create the graphics. Here’s what some of them had to say:

  • @PoorOldRoloTony: Want to watch Late Night With The Devil this weekend? Easy!! Buy a ticket for a film that does not feature AI, (Love Lies Bleeding), and simply walk in. Remember, the filmmakers did it to themselves! #LateBoycottWithTheDevil
  • @Goldxn_Violin: We aren’t devaluing the work of the cast and crew of Late Night with the Devil by criticizing the use of AI. Whoever decided to use AI instead of hiring an artist did that.
  • @ball_kn0wer: i’m genuinely crushed that Late Night With The Devil used AI instead of paying a real artist i was so hyped for it. i love Dastmalchian
  • @emmee7878: I was super excited to see Late Night With The Devil, but finding out they used AI art to cut corners makes me disinterested in the movie now. This sucks!

When it first premiered at SXSW in 2023, Late Night with the Devil was met with great reception, not only because of its originality, but because it has allowed David Dastmalchian to really shine in a lead role. Known for his brief work alongside Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, multiple roles in superhero flicks, and dying on screen more than a few times, Dastmalchian has become a household name across many genres of movies. You never quite know when he’s going to pop in something and make you say, “Hey, I didn’t know he’s in this!”

Since screening in Austin, the movie has garnered a lot of positive reception. It currently has a 97% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, with quite a few critics gushing about the costumes, dark humor, and ’70s nostalgia. Late Night with the Devil will be in theaters near you starting March 22. On April 19, you’ll be able to stream it, along with many other fan-favorite horror movies, with a Shudder subscription.

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